We give books to pre-school children to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, ensuring a brighter future for all.
Literacy attainment begins early in life. The first 2000 days of a child's life from birth to age 5 are critical. Imagine if every child in our community enters Kindergarten having been read to regularly by the most important teacher they will ever have - their parents.
Did you know? 85% of a child’s core brain structure is
formed by age 3.
Vocabulary development by age 3 is a predictor of reading achievement by third grade. Children often enter school behind their peers because they experience low literacy levels at home. This readiness gap persists and gets wider as children age.
According to the Annie Casey Foundation: Children from high income families-by age 4-hear a total of 32 million more words spoken in their homes than children from low-income families.
Families living in poverty often lack the money to buy new books, as well as access to libraries. In fact, 61% of low-income families have no children's books in their homes. Low achievement in reading is costly to our state in terms of global competitiveness and productivity. Illiteracy costs Atlanta $2.6 billion annually in lost wages and reduced productivity and costs Georgia $7 billion annually.
Ferst Foundation can help change some of these statistics for Georgia by giving age appropriate books to children along with parent support material free of charge for those critical birth to age five years. We want every child to read proficiently. We want every child to perform well in school. We want every child to graduate from high school on time. We want every child to grow up prepared to compete in the global economy. Without books and motivation, many children will grow up unable to read a newspaper or simply understand instructions on an employment application. The best part is this program really works. Morgan County, the first county to participate in the Ferst program, maintains over an 80% penetration level and has seen dramatic results. Kindergarten readiness scores have increased from only 46% to over 90% and CRCT scores in reading are exceeding state standards in all grades… in 2011, the first Ferst graduates (8th graders) scored 99.6% on the reading portion of the CRCT. Wouldn’t you like to see every county in Georgia have these types of impressive results? Imagine the competent, skilled, ready workforce Georgia could have in the future!
Since 2000, Ferst Foundation has mailed over 3.6 million books to Georgia children.
Ferst Foundation possesses a 4-star rating for the third year in a row, the highest given by Charity Navigator. That means we make the most efficient use of your donation, ensuring your dollars are making an impact on children in Georgia.
Ferst Foundation is a proud recipient of the Wells Fargo Days of Giving $1,000 donation.
So, what can you do to help? Adopt a reader today for $36! Georgia has 680,000 children under the age of five. Invest in Georgia's future by Adopting a Reader today!